Diabetic girl, 4, gets 5 jabs a day to stay alive
The New Paper
Genes and lifestyle
Dr Tan said this could be the result of an "interplay of genes and lifestyle". By lifestyle, he is referring to diet and insufficient exercise.
Dr Natasha Lim, Singapore Medical Group's medical director for Centre for Eye Surgery, added: "Certain cultures have carbohydrate-heavy meals and are more sweet-toothed."
She said a recent study performed in Singapore on Singaporean Malay diabetics showed that 35 per cent of the 3,261 participants had diabetes-related eye disease.
Beyond vision loss, diabetes can also lead to kidney damage, result in limb amputations, and cause impotence in men and pregnancy problems in women, said Dr Tan.
"We worry about diabetes not only because of the death that results, but the suffering that comes before death," he said.
Often, diabetes goes undetected because of a lack of awareness.
More than half - or 51.4 per cent - of those who were diagnosed with diabetes because of their participation in the NHS 2010 (as the survey involved a blood sample test), didn't know they had the condition.